Dennis M. Wade has litigated headline-worthy cases in state and federal courts across the country and in international forums around the world for more than four decades. A skilled trial and appellate lawyer, Dennis handles complex commercial and insurance law defense matters, in particular, high-exposure casualty cases, complicated insurance coverage disputes, and the defense of errors and omissions and professional liability claims.
Dennis handles fine art and in specie matters for both domestic and international insurers, including a recent notable case in which he successfully defended a major art insurer against a $42 million claim, from judgment in the trial court through appeals to New York’s Appellate Division and the Court of Appeals (the state high court) and ultimately to the United States Supreme Court. Over the past 20 years, he has helped recover stolen art and diamonds throughout the United States and has collaborated with counsel to achieve recoveries in Europe and elsewhere around the world. Because of his background and experience, clients frequently call on him to investigate and advise them in matters involving suspected fraudulent activity.
Dennis has been a trial lawyer his entire career. He served for nearly seven years with the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office, including as Deputy Chief, Rackets Bureau, where he investigated and prosecuted organized crime cases involving high-level members of New York’s Gambino and Bonanno crime families, violent felons from gangs such as The Ghost Shadows and Flying Dragons, and corrupt public officials. He entered private practice as a name partner in a midsize Manhattan firm, handling a diverse range of defense litigation.
The matters Dennis handles are often sophisticated and multifaceted, and his strength as an advocate lies in his keen ability to make the complex simple and understandable. A master of clear and compelling storytelling — a skill he attributes not to his time practicing law but to his study of Shakespeare — Dennis’s direct and practiced approach enables him to clearly and persuasively convey the facts and issues at the heart of disputes to clients, judges, juries and adversaries.
His successes on behalf of clients are as much a result of his persuasive advocacy as they are due to his abiding belief that clients are critical partners in a common endeavor — charting the best path to an optimal outcome — and that the strategy of a case should be a cooperative effort. With the other named partners, Dennis founded WCM in 1994 to provide all the firm’s clients with this kind of personal and collaborative representation.
Dennis has been called on to appear as an expert witness on points of American insurance law in the High Court of England and Wales. He also lectures frequently on insurance topics, including “The Art of Insuring Art” and “Art at Risk,” as well as on trial strategy and techniques, and has published extensively on topics such as settling damage claims, bad faith rulings and examinations under oath.